News 31 Aug 2022

Wakefield Park closure effective from tomorrow

Imposed conditions following July ruling make operation unfeasible.

Image: Foremost Media.

The Benalla Auto Club (BAC) has confirmed that all activity will cease at Wakefield Park Raceway from 1 September 2022, effectively closing the venue from tomorrow until further notice.

A court decision on 13 July severely reduced the number of days the Goulburn circuit could operate each year.

The conditions under the ruling made it unviable for the venue to host marquee events such as the Mi-Bike Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK).

In a previous statement following the ruling, the BAC conceded that the feasibility of Wakefield Park as a motorsports venue was uncertain under its new required operating terms, which ruled race meetings under the ‘Red Category’ of events – not to exceed 85-95db(A) average over a period of 15 minutes.

For each day a ‘Red Category’ event does take place, there is to be an 11-day respite period – defined as a period with no motorsport activity.

The latest press release from the BAC titled ‘Wakefield Park announces ceasing of activity’ confirmed it cannot operate under such imposed conditions.

It read: “The Benalla Auto Club has made the difficult decision to cease all activity at Wakefield Park Raceway from 1 September 2022 until further notice.

“Circuit management, along with the Benalla Auto Club committee, have come to the unfortunate conclusion that continued operation under the current conditions – in which the circuit cannot operate for more than four days a month – is simply not commercially feasible.

“Benalla Auto Club Group General Manager Stephen Whyte said the staff at Wakefield Park and the greater Benalla Auto Club Group have been the primary consideration during the current turbulent period.

“Our biggest priority has been ongoing consultation and discussion with our loyal and hard-working team of staff, who are those most affected by the ceasing of circuit operations,” Mr Whyte said.

“Unfortunately, we cannot operate economically under the current restrictions, which has left us with no alternative but to cease all activity at the track. Further reaching will be the economic loss to Goulburn and the surrounding community.”

Mr Whyte affirmed the BAC’s commitment to reaching a solution to the current plight.

“We remain committed to Wakefield Park and we will continue to work with the Goulburn Mulwaree Council and our stakeholders. We need NSW State Government assistance to find a pathway forward for Wakefield Park,” he concluded.

Wakefield Park is the only track in New South Wales to feature on the current ASBK calendar and provides high levels of spectator access and viewing.

It has become synonymous with domestic Superbikes in the modern era and has been the only venue to feature in each of the last three ASBK seasons.